Tuesday, October 5, 2010


About a month ago, I took my car in for a much-needed oil change and check up. I expected bad news, since my car's been making weird noises when I turn, rattles and shakes at red lights, and spills some kind of liquid on the driveway. I geared up and prepared myself to hear a long list of necessary repairs. Never did I expect it to be so bad. The technician called me over and showed me a long page covered in red circles and notes. Pretty much everything that could possible go wrong had indeed gone wrong. I was advised not to drive it. If you don't remember, I quit my job in April so I could focus on being a full-time student, youth leader, and wife. It had been going great! Richie and I were a little tight on money, but we were surviving and still making all our payments on time. But the bad news meant I'd have to go back to working. Our only good option was to buy a new car. And so, about a month ago, I returned to work. Thankfully, I didn't really have to search much before my boss from my first job contacted me and invited me to work at his photo studio again. That's what I've been doing and that's why I haven't posted anything in a while. Unfortunately, having a job means I no longer have enough free time to keep up with blogging. I go to school and work and get home around 9pm. On my days off I work on youth group stuff and spend time with my family. Blogging just doesn't fit into my schedule right now. I hope to someday be able to blog again, but I don't see that happening any time soon. I hope you have enjoyed reading and that these posts have encouraged you and maybe even helped you learn and grow in God. If you'd like to keep in touch, please look me up on Facebook and add me as a friend. I promise to accept your request! Soli Deo Gloria, Lilly

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Style Idea 24: Dreaming of Fall

I’m hoping that if I mention fall in enough style idea posts, fall will see how welcome he’d be in Las Vegas and stop by for a long visit. The temperatures have been dropping, but it’s nowhere near cool enough to bust out my tights and cardigans. Sometimes I wish I lived in New York or Maryland or Canada – anywhere that has real seasons!

Chunky Blue Cardigan: $48.00 Tulle

Twinkle Twinkle Dress: $168.00 Anthro

Navy Tights: $12.50 We Love Colors

Lace-Up Booties: $67.99 Ruche

Ivory Bag: $54.99 Spotted Moth

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hebrews 11 Challenge: Heroes

For by it the people of old received their commendation.

Hebrews 11:2

Abraham, Moses, David are people whose lives we admire. No matter how many times you’ve read their stories, they never get old. Defeating Goliath and parting the Red Sea just never fail to impress.

Many preachers have tried to pinpoint what made these people great. Was it their God-given courage? Zeal for the Lord? Dedication to holiness? What characteristic can we mimic to be as great as them?

The answer is right here in Hebrews 11:2. What made these people great was faith. It tells us that it was by faith that they received God’s approval and that anything we can admire in them originated from that faith.

It’s a good thing I don’t have to live 175 years to be a little like Abraham, lead a mass pilgrimage to be a bit like Moses, or wrestle a bear to kind of resemble David. Actually, Christians are already a lot more like their Biblical heroes than they think. We already share in their faith and receive God’s approval by it alone.

The people of old, those heroes of the faith we so admire, didn’t work their way into hero-status. It wasn’t for the great things they did that God declared them righteous. Galatians 3:11 tells us that one can please God by doing good things (because we all eventually fail) but that by faith men are declared righteous.

Faith is what matters. Faith is what we should learn from the stories of people like Abraham, Moses, and David. Their faith is what we should admire and mimic. Forget the great works they did because works won’t ever get us anywhere. Faith is what will make us commendable before God first. He desires faith before heroic action.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Puppy!

World, meet Pumba, the Garcia household’s new puppy! We picked him up yesterday and are already in love with him. Look at those adorable eyes! How could we not love a face like that?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Check it Out!

I seem to be in the mood for inspirational stories this morning. Here’s one about a boy who survived after his dad tried to murder him and found strength in Christ.

Then there’s the story of how a style blogger’s brother has miraculously lived 21 years when doctors said he wouldn’t make it to a month.

On a somehow related note, Kevin deYoung reminds us that there are worse things to fear than death.

Somehow also related, RC Sproul explains why we should pray even though God is completely in control of everything.

Defense for gay marriage is actually not as popular as we think it is.

Speaking of marriage, if I could re-do my wedding it would look something, but not completely like, this.

Isn’t their pinwheel photo area lovely? Here’s a tutorial on how to make paper pinwheels!

What comes after marriage? A baby carriage, of course! And even though I’m not yet expecting, I’m saving these photos for future kids’ room inspiration.

Given my current obsession with Gothic architecture and stained glass, I couldn’t help but fall in love with these lovely drawings.

Enjoy your long weekend! Go out somewhere and enjoy life!

Added: The was a pony at the Apple store!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Photo(s) of the Week

Even though Art History hasn't been at all what I expected or looked forward to, I am thankful that I've been introduced to some amazing art. Out of everything we've looked at this quarter, Gothic Architecture is by far my favorite. Look at how beautiful all these building are! It amazes me that God created us in such a way that we're able to make such inspiring works of art.
(You can click each photo for its source)

Even in black and white, the stained glass is stunning! Hope you're as inspired as I am!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I’m a nostalgic kind of person. Quiet drives, time alone at home, and even daily chores give me a lot of time to reminisce and call memories up. It’s part of who I am and I can’t seem to help it. I’m good at long-term memory and bit and pieces of my life so far come and keep me company often.

The only real bad thing about it is that I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one. Would the 7th grade friends I remember and fondly miss even recognize my name? Did the nerd camp friend who promised to never forget me keep his end of the deal? (Yes, I went to something I like to call “nerd camp” when I was a kid!) Does that song remind my 9th grade friends of the good times we had too? Or is it just me? Am I the only one who remembers?

I may be inexplicably afraid of large bodies of water, big animals, and those tall electricity towers that line up like giants along highways. But my biggest fear by far is forgetting and being forgotten. That’s why I’d sometimes rather not contact old friends, try to add them on Facebook, or in any way let them back into my life. As horrible as that may sound, I’d just rather not know if they don’t remember the great times I remember.

It may a silly fear, since all the people I’ve gotten back in touch with do remember me and some have even sought me out. But I’m glad that even my unreasonable fear isn’t too unreasonable for God; he assures me and gives me comfort through his word.

In Deuteronomy 31, when Israel is about to finally enter the land God had promised them, when Moses their leader was stepping down after 40 years, when they could no longer ignore the reality of war and conquest God assured them he would not leave them.

In Joshua 5 when Joshua is stepping into Moses’ shoes and getting ready to try to fill them and lead the people into the battles that awaited them in the Promise Land God told him he’d never leave him.

In 1 Chronicles 28 when Solomon is made king of Israel and receives from his father the overwhelming instructions and specifications on how to build the temple, God, through David, promises to not leave him.

Through these challenges, God promised his chosen people he’d never leave them. Because I was chosen by God (Ephesians 1:3-6) I know he’ll never leave me. If that weren’t enough, in John 14:16 Jesus promises the Holy Spirit, God, will be with believers forever.

I know my Father in heaven will never forget me. He’ll always be with me. And even if everyone else I’ve ever encountered does, as long as he remembers me I know I’ll be just fine.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Style Idea 23: Hoping for Fall

I went out for my morning jog yesterday and realized I should have brought a jacket! It was enough to get me daydreaming about fall. Leggings, boots, blazers, coats! I even planned the perfect beginning of fall outfit to wear that day, The weather forecast shattered my dreams, though. Temperatures are indeed falling, but in Vegas that means we drop from the 110’s to the low 100’s. Still not nearly cool enough for a fall outfit. I can still dream, right?

Doctor Bag: $49.00 Urban Outfitters

Colorful Tunic: $44.00 Francesca's

Maroon Leggings: $26.00 We Love Colors

Black Booties: $49.95 DSW

Navy Blazer: $98.00 Gap

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hebrews 11 Challenge: Intro

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

How many times have you heard the word faith in sermons? How many times has it come up in conversations with other Christians? How many times in your witnessing and evangelism? How many times in your personal prayer and Bible study?

Faith is a word we use really often, but have you ever stopped to really think about what it means? As a youth group teacher, I can say it’s one of the most difficult concepts to figure out and explain. It may seem simple at first, but explaining everything that belief really means quickly gets overwhelming.

This week’s verse clears things up a bit. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for.” It is confidence in God’s ability to keep those promises which haven’t yet been fulfilled. It is trust in his will to accomplish all those things Christians should be hoping for: salvation, heaven, everything finally being set right.

Faith is “…the conviction of things not seen.” It is knowing that God is real even though he’s presently invisible to us. It is knowing that Christ lived perfectly keeping everything the Law commanded, gave up his life to save those who trust in him and repent of their sins, rose from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand.

For the rest of the year and probably into the next, we’ll be looking at all the examples of faith Hebrews 11 offers and learning the details of what faith really is. Until next week, meditate on what you know of faith. Study Scripture on faith and compare what you already know to that. Do the two line up? What changes might you have to make in order to be more closely aligned to God’s word?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Reading through the Ten Commandments is always at least a bit difficult for me. No matter how well I think I’ve been doing, some sin always comes to light when I really sit down and measure myself against God’s perfect standard. It never fails. I feel conviction.

One commandment in particular never had that effect on me, though. I could stroll right past it, lightheartedly checking it off my list of things I had taken care of. Reading “You shall not covet…” actually made me feel a little better about myself. I was happy with the car and house God had given me, couldn’t complain about clothes or shoes, enjoyed the company of great people in my life, and was content to wait for the think I needed but didn’t yet have. I sincerely thought coveting just wasn’t my struggle.

What I thought changed as I checked blogs off my daily reading list last week. First, I read an amazing description of the beginning of a round-the-world trip: white water rafting in an African river, petting tame lions, riding on elephants’ backs, watching the sun set behind majestic giraffes. Why couldn’t I be the one embarking on such a majestic adventure?

Then came another blog that talked about a couple’s love of traveling. Ever since their wedding day they’ve been packing up and going whenever they may feel like going. Long weekend drives are common and they have a long list of favorite places in several states. Why couldn’t Richie and I have that kind of freedom?

Last, I stopped at a blog written by a guy designing his way through the book of Psalms. His work is amazing. It is inspiring both spiritually and artistically. Why didn’t I have that creativity and skill?

By the end of my blog reading, I was feeling pretty horrible about myself. It wasn’t any of the bloggers’ fault – they’re all great and share awesome things with their readers. I admire all of them. I just felt unsatisfied with my own life when I compared it to theirs.

It’s hard to admit, but I wasn’t glad for the blessings they get to enjoy and I wasn’t thankful for how wonderful my life really is. All I could feel was envy and anger at not having the same exact blessings exactly now. 

I don’t think it could be any clearer. Even though I don’t covet the “usual” material things, that doesn’t mean I don’t covet at all. It took a horrible mood and the ugliness of real envy to make me understand that coveting isn’t just about stuff. We can covet whole lifestyles, beauty, success, relationships. In that case, I covet. A lot.

Do you have a commandment you tend to skip over? One you feel you don’t really struggle with? I thought I didn’t need to work on not coveting, but that was only because I hadn’t fully understood what coveting really covers. Maybe the commandments we think we can handle should get a closer look.

PS. When I’m thinking clearly, I really wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s. I may wish I could do a lot more things, but if I had to give up what I have now I’d rather not.

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